JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Home favorite Branden Grace carded a sensational nine-under-par-62 win to win the European Tour's South African Open trophy with a 3-shot win on Sunday.
Branden Grace hits the 6th hole
Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sport
Grace mastered the Randpark Golf Club with eight birdies and an eagle and ended the tournament 21 points behind the defending champion and leader Louis Oosthuizen (68).
Grace was far from the pace when he hit the par-4 second but got 10 shots in his next 12 holes as he stormed to the top of the leaderboard and won his first title in the open home championship.
"That was remarkable, I'm speechless," Grace told reporters. "I don't remember when the putter was so hot last time.
"This is what I really wanted, my concentration was great and I played really well. I wish my wife (Nieke) a good birthday today. "
It is the ninth title of the European Tour for the 32-year-old, who, together with South African Jaco Ahlers (69) and Englishman Marcus Armitage, has secured a place at the 149th British Open at the Royal St. George & # 39; s.
Armitage finished third after a final round of 69, his best ever result on the tour, with Ahlers (69) and Jack Senior (67) from England fourth.
Ahlers receives third place in the Open qualification because he has the higher world rankings.
After lifting the Claret Jug in 2010, Oosthuizen qualified for the big championship.
He struggled to get his round going when he struggled on the greens, but made a fourth hole in his career when his tee-off on the par-3-eighth landed and curled up two meters before the cup.
Despite 16 birdies in his last three rounds, Oosthuizen only carded one when he tried to keep up with his compatriot Grace at the top of the leaderboard.
Reporting by Nick Said, Ed Osmond editor